Alumni Profile: Mexico

EMDAP Alumnus—Anna Luisa Pinto

Year: 2006-07
Country: Mexico
Host Organization: Alternativa Solidaria Chiapas (AlSol)
University: Columbia University

Ms. Ana Luisa Pinto, a graduate of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, provided technical assistance as a Marketing Adviser for a local Microfinance Institution, Alternativa Solidaria Chiapas (AlSol) in Chiapas, Mexico.

During her assignment, Ms. Pinto improved the institutional capacity of AlSol by creating a permanent Marketing Department, implementing market research initiatives to make informed decisions and improve client relationships and retention. To ensure sustainability she also trained a Marketing Manager to lead the department and continue the initiatives she started.

In the past, Ms. Pinto has worked as a Marketing Advisor with the Peace Corps in Guatemala and as a consultant with Catholic Relief Services, FINCA International, and the Grameen Foundation USA. Currently, Ms. Pinto works for QED Group, LLC, serving as the Regional Portfolio Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean in USAID’s EGAT Bureau’s Office of Development Credit. She monitors the utilization, risk exposure, and any implementation issues of credit guarantees with partner banks and MFIs in the region.

Ms. Pinto has a Bachelors of Arts degree in International Relations with a focus on Latin America from the College of William and Maryland and a Masters of International Affairs (M.I.A.) degree in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).

Alumni Profile: Jordan

EMDAP Alumnus—Greg Swarin

Year: 2006-07
Country: Jordan
Host Organization: The Business Development Center
University: The George Washington University

Mr. Greg Swarin has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics from Northwestern University and a Masters of Arts degree in International Development Studies from George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. He is a former Peace Corps volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga and served as a Program Officer for the Business Development Center (BDC) in Jordan with EMDAP. Specifically, he worked with the TATWEER Business & Export Development Project for Jordanian Enterprises.

In this role, he served as a liaison between Jordanian enterprises and US companies, institutions and universities. He spearheaded the implementation of a partnership between the Thunderbird School of Global Management and the BDC. The partnership, “Friends of Success”, allowed Thunderbird MBA students to conduct short-term consultancies with local small and medium enterprises in Jordan. The program has since grown to provide opportunities for Jordanian MBA students to study in the USA. He also managed a regional business development conference which resulted in a $25,000 profit for the BDC.

Mr. Swarin was a member of the second class of USAID’s Development Leadership Initiative (DLI) and is currently a USAID Program and Project Development Officer in Lima, Peru.

Alumni Profile: Armenia

EMDAP Alumnus—James Lykos

Year: 2008-09
Country: Armenia
Host Organization: The American Chamber of Commerce
University: The University of South Carolina

James Lykos, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Georgia, served as a Senior Adviser to the American Chamber of Commerce in Armenia. As the Senior Adviser, Mr. Lykos improved the overall sustainability of the organization by spearheading the recruitment of an Executive Director and transforming the organizational newsletter into a widely distributed revenue generating magazine. Along with the Executive Director, he played a key role in: lobbying the Armenian government and Tax and Customs Officials to form a more equitable customs regime; creating CSR initiatives by linking Armenian companies with international development organizations; and organizing franchising and CSR conferences. Most importantly, his support led to higher member retention and membership increase.

Mr. Lykos previously worked for an Export Consortium researching the international landscape in fuel cell development as well as for PSI as a Sales Team Trainer in Kigali, Rwanda.

Mr. Lykos was a member of the fifth class of USAID’s Development Leadership Initiative (DLI) and is now a USAID Private Enterprise Development Officer in Afghanistan.

Mr. Lykos has a two Bachelors of Arts degree in International Relations and English from Rhodes College and a Master of Arts in International Relations and Master of Business Administration degree from the University of South Carolina.